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April 1997 Cast

Satanic Mechanics

College Park, MD

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Hello! We're the Satanic Mechanics of the University of Maryland, College Park. Our cast has 26 members, ranging in age from 18 to 26. As RHPS celebrates its 25th anniversary, we're proud to continue on the tradition of love, lips, and decadence.

Almost all our cast attends UMCP. We're a very close-knit cast who live within two mile radius of each other. We're a virtual family. Together, we combine elements of many different casts that we've been associated with, from New Zealand to New Jersey. We often get together to party, or rehearse, or discuss other cast members.

Unlike most casts, we have a heavy rotation system. Everyone gets to play a part. In addition to simply performing, every cast member knows audience participation lines, and helps to work the audience when they're not performing.


It all began with a boy and a dream...

When our producer, Jason Haynes, first came to UMCP he fell in love - with the Hoff Theater (the movie theater in the student union). The theater, with a capacity of over 700 and an elevated stage, was an ideal theater for Rocky. From that day on, Jason dreamed of performing there one day. But it took Jason over two years to convince the administration to allow Rocky to be performed. The last time Rocky was performed at the Hoff Theater 13 years ago, the screen was ruined and the show caused extensive damage to the theater.

Jason began to form a cast, enlisting the aid of our director, Melissa Rowell. (He was asking that she pay him back a favor. He now owes her a LOT of favors...) As Melissa puts it, "He bludgeoned me into it." Auditions were held, and our cast was formed. After a month and a half of rehearsals, we performed our first show in the Macke Room of the Union to a packed crowd of about 350.

We got ourselves a gig every Friday night at Springfield Mall in northern Virginia. We've performed there every Friday for the past four months, steadily amassing an audience of devoted fans. When we realized that the cast was going to continue after the first performance, we drew up a constitution. Former Transylvainian Daniel Valentine was raised to the leadership council and the Order of the Satanic Mechanics was born.

After our first on-campus performance, S&M finally convinced the management to let us use the Hoff Theater again. Aside from our Springfield shows every week, we perform monthly on-campus.


Our cast is ruled over by the Triumvirate, a body of three which run the different aspects of our cast.

Our director, Melissa Rowell, runs rehearsals, casting, costuming, and props. She controls the creative element of our show. Melissa is assisted by our props manager, costume mistress, lighting committee and a staff of five assistant directors. Our producer, Jason Haynes, handles the business aspects of our cast, which include theater relations, publicity, and money matters. Jason is assisted by our accountant, Michael-Scott Saffle, and our publicity committee.

And finally, our gardener, Daniel Valentine. As Daniel likes to classify himself, the gardener is the "whipping boy of the cast." The gardener takes care of miscellaneous duties, serves as a liaison for the cast, keeps in contact with audience members, and trains new members ("Sprouts") before they become full cast members. Daniel's only help is the assistant gardener.

Besides acting in the company, every cast member serves on two committees, which include the Props, Costumes, Publicity, Stage Managing, Lighting and Assistant Director committees.


The Satanic Mechanics perform every FRIDAY NIGHT at about 12:30 in General Cinemas 2, Springfield Mall, Springfield, Virginia. We share the theater with Frank's Babies, the Saturday night cast.

We perform THE FIRST SATURDAY OF EVERY MONTH at the Hoff Theater in College Park, Maryland at midnight. Doors open at 11:15.

The cast currently performs at the Hoff Theater the first Saturday of every month, as well as the weekly Springfield shows 25 miles away. See you there!

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